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Pilot project – living lab environment

Autonomous shuttle service Brussels Health Campus

Autonomous shuttle service Brussels Health Campus
Location
Jette, Belgium
Date
From to
Length
350 meters in Phase 1, approximately 1km in Phase 2
Project details

What

This pilot at the VUB Health Campus in Brussels has 2 phases on 2 different trajectories. The first phase is running from August 2019 to November 2019, and is situated on private terrain. The second phase runs from December 2019 to March 2020, and is situated on public road. In both phases, the service is station-based with a fixed route. The service follows a predefined time schedule. In the first phase the shuttle drives on private terrain with mixed traffic (trajectory A), in the second phase the shuttle will drive on the public road (trajectory B). Trajectory A has 2 stops, whereas trajectory B has 3 stops. The vehicle contains a wheel chair ramp for people with reduced mobility.

Why

The pilot objective is to perform research in a living lab context on autonomous vehicles. The 3 core topics of research are user acceptance, AV technology and spatial planning.

Phase 1 trajectory

Phase 1 trajectory

Phase 2 trajectory

Phase 2 trajectory

Budget & Financing

The budget of this project is €450 000 and is funded by Innoviris.

Regulatory Framework

Testing autonomous driving vehicles on public roads is allowed in Belgium under specific conditions. In both phases, a safety operator is present in the vehicle.

Results & Evaluation

The first phase has been concluded at the end of October. No incidents or accidents occurred during this phase. The number passengers transported at the end of the first phase was 594 (average of 16 per day). A total distance of 359 km was driven (average of 10.55 km per day). Overal, the passengers were satisfied with the service in general (average 5.71 on a scale from 1-7). The average operational speed of the vehicle was about 10km/h.

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Lexicon

7 words explained

platooning

Also known as flocking. A collection of (automated) vehicles that travel together, actively coordinated in formation. Platoons decrease the distances between vehicles using electronic, and possibly mechanical, coupling. Platooning allows many vehicles to accelerate or brake simultaneously.

urban setting

High density environment with an efficient high capacity public transport system with good capillarity and high frequencies.

suburban setting

Medium density environment with a good public transport system with radial connections to the city center, but lower capillarity and frequencies. This setting includes suburban cities.

small cities

Small, isolated city with an own public transport system and <100K inhabitants.

rural

Low-density environment, small cities and villages with poor public transport services mainly connecting the villages.

SAE level

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) levels define the level of vehicle autonomy, or in other words, how much human intervention is still needed for an automated vehicle to operate. Currently, five SAE levels have been defined: Level 0: Automated system issues warnings and may momentarily intervene but has no sustained vehicle control. Level 1 (hands on): Driver and automatic system share vehicle control. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Level 2 (hands off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 3 (eyes off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 4 (mind off): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, e.g. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Level 5 (steering wheel optional): No human intervention is required at all. An example would be a robotic taxi.

V2X

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is the passing of information from a vehicle to any entity that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.